Last week, the Mets announced that Johan has been cleared to begin throwing, but in an ESPN Live Chat today, Adam Rubin adds a little more clarification.
Question – With Santana starting to throw already, is there a chance he could come back sooner than expected?
Adam Rubin – I don’t know that he actually has thrown yet. Actually, I don’t think he has. The Mets announced it as he’s been cleared to throw BEFORE SPRING TRAINING, not he’s been cleared to throw now. Originally, he was supposed to pick up a baseball in late January. Then I heard early January. Now it appears back to late January or even early February. So I imagine the June/July timetable still holds. I will caution, however, that no one expects the vintage Santana during the second half of this season. It usually takes time to come back from shoulder surgery, even for someone of Santana’s pedigree.
During an appearance on WFAN last month, Sandy Alderson said that it was reasonable to expect Johan Santana sometime around or after the All Star break. He was pretty confident that Johan would certainly be pitching again for the Mets in the second half.
At age 32, Santana is trying to return from the shoulder surgery that ended what was going to be another solid season for him. He ended his 2010 season with a won-loss of 11-9 and a 2.98 ERA in 199 innings pitched comprising 29 starts.
As long as there’s a chance that Johan Santana returns at mid season and gives the Mets 15 starts, the possibility exists that the Mets can play meaningful games in September and make some noise in the NL East. Call it irrational exuberance on my part, but that’s just how I feel.